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Jerusalem now recognized as the capital of Israel: How did we get here?

Brandon Moseley



Monday, President Donald Trump has formally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel by opening the new embassy there.

Congressman Gary Palmer, R-Hoover, said, “This opening makes the U.S. the first nation to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.”

Both Israel and the Palestinian Authority claim Jerusalem as their capital.

In the Bible’s book of Joshua, the Gibeonite King of Jerusalem Adoni-Tzede made a separate peace with Joshua and the invading Hebrews. The other Canaanites decided to attack the city before its strategic position fell to Joshua and the Israelis. Joshua miraculously marched his whole force to intercept and defeat those Canaanite kings before they could take the city.

Centuries later a young King David took possession of the city, then controlled by the Jebusites, who called it Jebus, and made it his capital in 1010 B.C. renaming it Jerusalem. His son, King Solomon, would build the First Temple there and make the city the center of the orthodox Hebrew religion.


On March 16, 597 B.C. King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon took the City. King Jehoiakim died during the siege. His 8-year-old son, King Jeconiah and most of the royal family were taken into exile in Babylon. His 21-year-old uncle, Zedekiah was installed as a puppet king by the Babylonians. In 586 B.C. the Babylonians again took the rebellious city after a two year siege. This time they destroyed it and the Temple of Solomon.

In 444 B.C. Nehemiah was appointed as the Governor of Judea by the Persian Empire. He repaired the city walls, repopulated the city and built a much smaller second temple. In 332 B.C. the city of Jerusalem fell to Alexander of Macedonia following the siege of Tyre.

In 168 B.C. the deposed High Priest Jason (Jesus) took the city after wrongly receiving the information that Seleucid King Antiochus IV Epiphanes had died on campaign in Egypt. Antiochus retook Jerusalem and responded with a massive persecution of orthodox Jews to speed the Hellenization process. This sparked a Jewish revolt in 167 B.C. under the Maccabees family (Hasmoneans) that eventually took control of the city, the temple, and eventually most of classic Israel including the Edomites who were forced to convert to Judaism.

In 67 B.C. the Roman Republic invaded to settle a Hasmonean civil war and partitioned the country. Julius Caesar and Marc Antony favored the Edomite Antipater and his son Herod. In 40 B.C. the Parthian Empire took Syria and the Hasmoneans took back Judea as a Parthian allied state. Herod fled to Rome who declared him the rightful King of Judea. With Roman help, Herod retook Jerusalem and the country in 37 BC. Herod launched a number of building projects including a massive rebuilding of the Second Temple as a much grander structure. After Herod’s death in 4 B.C. the country was divided among his four sons but the Roman Empire began to exercise much more direct control. In approximately 34 A.D. Jesus of Nazareth was executed by the Romans in Jerusalem at the urging of Jewish leaders.

In 66 A.D. the Roman Governor Gessius Florus plundered the temple and seized a number of Jewish leaders. The country rose in a massive revolt. In 70 A.D. the Roman General Titus took the city after a brutal seven month siege and took it and the temple. The surviving Pharisees then reorganized modern Judaism without the involvement of their rivals, the Sadducees, and the Essenes.

In 115 to 117 A.D. there was a second Jewish revolt. In 130 A.D. the Roman Emperor Hadrian visited the ruins and orders Jerusalem rebuilt, this time dedicated to the God Jupiter and renamed Aelia Capitolonia. In 132 A.D. Simon Bar Kokhba takes the city by force, expels the Romans, renames the city, and is declared the Messiah. In 136 A.D. the Romans retook Jerusalem and expelled all Jews and Christians, a temple to Jupiter is built on the Temple Mount and a temple to Venus is built on Calgary and the city was rededicated as Aelia Capitolonia.

Christians begin returning after Hadrian’s death. In 313 the Emperor Constantine legalizes Christianity. In 324 Constantine calls the Council of Nicaea and renames the City as Jerusalem. In 361 Julian the Apostate becomes Emperor and attempts to reverse the growing Christianization of the Empire. As part of that multicultural effort Julian allows Jews to return to the City and orders the Temple rebuilt. Work on the Temple ends with Julian’s death and a massive earthquake in 363. In 380 the Roman Empire is divided into East and West, Jerusalem is part of the Eastern or Byzantine Empire.

In 611 the Jews revolt and join forces with the growing Sassinid Empire in their War against the Byzantines. The Sassinids take Jerusalem in 614 killing most of the Christians and destroying most of the city.  The Jewish leader Nehemiah Ben Hosel was made governor. In 617 Christians revolted and killed Nehemiah. The Sassinids appointed a Christian Governor. In 629 the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius defeated the Sassinids and retook Jerusalem.

In 637 Caliph Umar the Great takes the city as Muslim armies emerge out of Arabia in force. In 750 the Umayads are defeated by the Abassids who take Jerusalem and assassinate the governor. In 878 Ahmd Ibn Tulun, the ruler of Egypt, takes Jerusalem. In 904 the Abassids retake the city. In 969 the Umali Shia Fatimids took Jerusalem.

In 975 the Byzantine Emperor John I Tzimiskes took Syria and much of the holy land, including Nazareth, but was defeated just outside of Jerusalem. In 1054 the Patriarch of Jerusalem joins with the Eastern Orthodox Church against the Pope in the Great Schism.

In 1073 the Seljuk Turks take Jerusalem from the Fatimids. In 1077 the city revolts against Seljuk rule. Emir Atsiv Ibd Ubaq then returns and retakes the city slaughtering many of the inhabitants. Amidst a Seljuk civil war the Fatimids retook Jerusalem in 1098. In 1099 the First Crusaders arrive and besiege Jerusalem. Many of the Muslim and Jewish inhabitants of the city are killed. Baldwin I is named the first King of Jerusalem.

In 1187 the Christian army was defeated by Saladin at the Battle of the Horns of Hattin. Saladin then besieges and takes Jerusalem. In 1192 the Third Crusade, led by English King Richard the Lionheart, fails to retake Jerusalem. In 1219 the Emir of Damascus destroyed the walls of Jerusalem to prevent the Crusaders from taking the City as a fortified town. From 1229 to 1244 the Christians controlled Jerusalem by treaty. In 1244 the city fell to Muslim control again after a siege. In 1250 the Seventh Crusade ends in failure with the Christians unsuccessful in their attempt to retake Jerusalem.

In 1260 Jerusalem was raided by the Mongols; but were ultimately defeated by the Egyptian Mamluks just to the north of the city. In 1267 Jerusalem only had two Jewish families still living there. In 1291 the Mamluks took the last independent Crusader state, Acre. In 1300 a joint Mongol and Armenian army took Jerusalem but withdrew after just a few months. In 1347 much of the population was killed by the Black Death.

In 1516 the Mamelukes were defeated by the Ottoman Turks who took all of Palestine. In 1771 to 1772 the Christian Mamluk rule of Egypt took Jerusalem with Russian help. He ultimately withdrew. In 1799 the French leader, Napoleon Bonaparte, was forced to end his effort to take Jerusalem after his defeat at the Seige of Acre.

In 1831 Wali Muhammed Ali of Egypt conquered the city. In 1834 the city revolted against Ali. In 1839 and 1840 Jewish Rabi Judah Alklai published books urging Jews to return to Palestine. In 1840 the Ottoman Turks retook Jerusalem with British help. Beginning in the 1860s, Jews from Holland and Germany began resettling in Jerusalem and Jewish neighborhoods began expanding.

In 1897 the First Zionist Congress discussed Jerusalem as a possible capital of a future Jewish state. In 1901 Ottoman authorities placed restrictions on Jewish immigration to Palestine. In 1914 World War I begins. The Ottoman Empire sides with Germany and Austria against France, Russia, Italy, Great Britain, and eventually the United States.

In 1917 British forces under Allenby defeated the Ottomans at the Battle of Jerusalem and entered the city. The Ottomans lost control of Palestine to Great Britain in the Treaty that ended World War I. The Holocaust decimated Jewish populations in Europe during World War II. Israeli nationalists and Arab nationalists increasingly were at odds over the future of Palestine.

On November 29, 1947 the United Nations partition plan called for making Jerusalem an international city separate from any state.  In 1948 the City was divided between Israel and the Kingdom of Jordan. On June 7, 1967 the Israeli Army took the old city of Jerusalem from the Jordanians. Israel eventually moved its capital from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The United States now recognizes Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel. Israel is either a nation that is 75 years old or promised by God to Abraham’s descendants in the Book of Genesis well over 4000 years ago, depending on which point of view you want to adopt.

Brandon Moseley is a senior reporter with six and a half years at Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Facebook.

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Doug Jones says work requirements for SNAP would mean no Farm Bill

Brandon Moseley



One of the most controversial issues facing the Congress this summer is whether Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) beneficiaries should work to receive their benefits or not. Monday, Senator Doug Jones (D) weighed in on the issue saying that if Republicans insist on the work requirement the farm bill will not pass the Senate.

“The House of Representatives in their Farm Bill wanted to create a lot of burdensome and onerous work requirements,” Sen. Jones said. “The Senate bill did not do that.”

Now the farm bill is in a conference committee where legislators from both Houses will try to iron out the differences between the two bills.  If the committee produces a compromise bill, that conference committee version still has to pass both Houses before it can go to the President’s desk.

“If they try to put those onerous requirements on SNAP it will not pass and we will not get a farm bill passed,” Jones said. “The Senate, even the Republicans, are trying to protect that program.”

The House Republicans have argued that the work requirements for able bodied SNAP benefits (most Americans still call the benefits “food stamps”) will encourage more able-bodied poor people to get jobs and contribute to the booming economy. The work requirements would not apply to the disabled, children, the elderly, or persons enrolled in a federally approved job training program.


“That is a poison pill that could derail the whole thing,” Sen. Jones said. “And we really need a farm bill for our farmers.”

For decades, federal farm programs and food stamps (SNAP) were combined under the Department of Agriculture. Combining supplemental nutrition assistance with farm programs like crop insurance, the conservation reserve program (CRP), conservation assistance, and commodity price supports meant that Congress members that represented poor urban districts and rural districts where agriculture is vitally important both have reasons to support the combined legislation – the Farm Bill. The Farm Bill sets agricultures and SNAP policy for the next five years.

Sen. Jones said that President Donald J. Trump (R) is trying to move SNAP out of the Department of Agriculture; but Jones doubted that that governmental organization would pass out of the Senate.

Jones’s comments were made in his second town hall event. The town hall was held at the historic Parker High School in Birmingham, Alabama’s largest city.

The event was emceed by State Representative Juandalynn Givan (D-Birmingham) who represents the area in the Alabama legislature.

Doug Jones is the first Democrat to represent Alabama in the U.S. Senate in 25 years. He was elected on December 12 to finish the remainder of Sen. Jeff Sessions (R) term. Blacks, including the families in the Parker High School area, overwhelmingly came out in numbers to elect Jones over former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court Roy Moore. Jones faces re-election in 2020.

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Byrne: Undocumented immigrants won’t be housed in Baldwin County

Brandon Moseley



Tuesday, Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-Montrose) announced that he has received confirmation from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that there are no plans to house detained undocumented immigrants at two Navy airfields in south Baldwin County.

Congressman Byrne said in a statement, “Housing illegal immigrants at ill-equipped airfields along the Gulf Coast was always a terrible idea, so I appreciate the confirmation that this plan is no longer being considered. We had a team effort to push back this flawed idea, and I especially want to thank Baldwin County Commissioners Chris Elliott and Tucker Dorsey and Baldwin County Sheriff Hoss Mack for their advocacy on this issue.”

“While I am glad this issue is resolved, we must continue working to secure the border and eliminate the need for additional housing for illegal immigrants altogether,” Rep. Byrne said. “I remain 100% committed to working with President Trump to build a border wall, hire additional border patrol officers, and ensure our border security is as strong as possible.”

ICE Deputy Director Ronald Vitiello said that they can house 4,000 at

Fort Bliss in Texas and that they have two other unspecified location that can each accept 4,000 immigrant families. “At this time, ICE does not have plans to acquire additional bed space in Alabama.”


Congressman Byrne led an effort in Washington to express opposition to housing up to 10,000 undocumented immigrants at Naval Outlying Field Silverhill and Naval Outlying Field Wolf in south Baldwin County. Byrne was joined by other members of the Alabama and Florida Congressional delegations in sending a letter to Secretary of Defense Mattis and Secretary of Homeland Security Nielson outlining concerns with the proposal. Byrne also hosted Baldwin County officials in Washington for a series of meetings to convene local concerns with the proposal.

The border has gotten much more dangerous this year. On Friday, a Border Patrol Agent was assaulted by two migrants attempting to cross the border into California. This is the 80th assault this year on Border Patrol agents. There were only 23 attacks last year.

Congressman Bradley Byrne represents Alabama’s First Congressional District.

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Kavanaugh decision dominates Doug Jones town hall

Brandon Moseley



U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-Alabama) held his second town hall as a U.S. Senator at Birmingham’s historic Parker High School.

Jones was elected largely due to the enormous turnout among Black voters.

“It was because of the incredible work that you did that I am here as the first Democratic Senator to represent Alabama in 25 years,” Jones told the crowd.

“I want to be able to listen,” Jones said. “Some of you have questions and some of you have comments.”

Many of the comments and questions were about how Jones would vote on the confirmation of Donald J. Trump’s (R) U.S. Supreme Court appointee, Brett Kavanaugh.


Kavanaugh would fill the seat of Justice Anthony Kennedy who retired this summer. Kennedy was often the swing vote between the four strict constructionist Justices and the four liberal Justices.

“I am doing a lot of work on the Supreme Court nominee,” Jones said. “He will be there for life twenty, thirty years, maybe more, we do not know.”

Jones said that it is the job of the Senate to advise and consent on judicial appointments and that he takes that responsibility very seriously.

Jones said that the Judiciary should be independent of politics. “He (the President) is not supposed to have a team on the judiciary.”

Jones asked what was the vote when Justice Antonin Scalia was confirmed. 98 to 0.

On Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings, Jones said that the Senate is looking at all of his opinions, including his dissents as well as his work for the Bush presidency and his work with the Whitewater Investigation. The archives have said that even some of what Chairman Grassley (R-Iowa) has requested won’t be ready until October.

“Candidly I am disappointed that we are moving so quickly on a hearing,” Sen. Jones said. “Unfortunately the Democrats do not control the calendar.”

“I am going to do an independent review,” Jones said. “I thought I could get through 2018 without seeing another Doug Jones commercial.”
Jones said that the people who paid for the TV commercials to influence his vote have wasted their money.

A vocal Kavanaugh opponent holding a large heart shaped pillow interrupted the Senator.

“We love you, but you have enough information. Vote NO,” she screamed. After the woman would not calm down or stop repeating herself she was removed from the venue.

“I am going to look at all of the information so I will be able to justify my opinion,” Sen. Jones said. Jones acknowledged that a lot of people were going to be upset no matter how he decided.

One citizen asked Jones how he could consider confirming Kavanaugh after decisions he made against the Affordable Care Act.

“I will answer that question after I meet with him,” Sen. Jones said. “Everything about his record is fair game.”

“I have read a number of his opinions, not all of them yet,” Jones said. “I am not prepared to say what I am going to do on Kavanaugh or give any indication of what I am going to do. I have reached out to meet with him as soon as those hearings are done.”

One man said that the majority of Alabamians support the confirmation of Kavanaugh. How could you vote different that the majority of Alabamians?

“I am going to exercise an independent view,” Jones said. “Most of those constituent views are based on 30 second TV ads.” “My vote is going to be based on what I believe. I am going to be an independent voice for Alabama and that is what I intend to do come Hell or highwater.”

Doug Jones was elected in a special election on December 12. Jones is a former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama. He has practiced law in Birmingham for 15 years after leaving the Justice Department.

The Senate Judiciary Committee will be holding hearings on Kavanaugh’s confirmation in September.

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Sewell, Gowdy, others introduce bill to strengthen election infrastructure against cyberattacks

Brandon Moseley



Friday, four members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) introduced the Secure Elections Act, which would provide local communities and state governments with the resources needed to strengthen election systems against cyberattacks.

The bill was introduced by Reps. Tom Rooney (R-Florida), Terri Sewell (D-Selma), Trey Gowdy (R-South Carolina), and Jim Himes (D-Connecticut). All four of them have played a role in the HPSCI investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

“Our democracy is our nation’s greatest asset and it is our job to protect its integrity,” said Rep. Sewell. “We know from our Intelligence Community that Russian entities launched cyberattacks against our election infrastructure in 2016, exploiting at least 21 state election systems. As the 2018 elections approach, action is urgently needed to protect our democracy against another attack. Today’s bipartisan bill takes a huge step forward by providing election officials with the resources and information they need to keep our democracy safe.”

“Although the Russian government didn’t change the outcome of the 2016 election, they certainly interfered with the intention of sowing discord and undermining Americans’ faith in our democratic process,” Rep. Rooney said. “There’s no doubt in my mind they will continue to meddle in our elections this year and in the future.”

The sponsors say that the Secure Elections Act would allow states and local jurisdictions to voluntarily apply for grants to replace outdated voting machines and modernize their elections systems. The bill also streamlines the process the federal government uses to share relevant cybersecurity threat information with state and local governments.


The Senate version of the Secure Elections Act was introduced in March by Sens. James Lankford (R-Oklahoma) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota).

Sen. Lankford addressed the U.S. Senate on the Secure Elections Act.

“We have to be able to have better communication between the federal government and states, a better cybersecurity system, and the ability to be able to audit that,” Lankford said. “That is why Senator Klobuchar and I have worked for months on a piece of legislation called the Secure Elections Act. That piece of legislation has worked its way through every state looking at it and their election authorities. We’ve worked it through multiple committee hearings. In fact, recently just in the last month, two different hearings with the Rules Committee. It is now ready to be marked up and finalized to try to bring to this body.”

“I have zero doubt the Russians tried to destabilize our nation in 2016 by attacking the core of our democracy,” Lankford said. “Anyone who believes they will not do it again has missed the basic information that is how day, after day, after day, in our intelligence briefings. The Russians have done it the first time. They showed the rest of the world the lesson in what could be done. It could be the North Koreans next time. It could be the Iranians next time. It could be a domestic activist group next time. We should learn that lesson, close that vulnerability, and make sure that we protect our systems in the days ahead.”

Rep. Sewell is also the lead sponsor of the SHIELD Act and the E-Fellows Security Act, two bills which would strengthen cybersecurity on federal, state, and local campaigns.

Rep. Terri A. Sewell is serving her fourth term representing Alabama’s 7th Congressional district. She sits on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and was recently appointed to the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. Sewell is a Chief Deputy Whip and serves on the prestigious Steering and Policy Committee of the Democratic Caucus. She is also a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, and serves as Vice Chair of the Congressional Voting Rights Caucus, and Vice Chair of Outreach for the New Democrat Coalition.

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Jerusalem now recognized as the capital of Israel: How did we get here?

by Brandon Moseley Read Time: 7 min